Azerbaijan’s permanent representative to UN: We resolutely reject all Armenia’s claims as completely false, null and void

“As it comes to the situation around the Lachin road, Azerbaijan resolutely rejects all Armenia’s claims as completely false, null and void,” said Permanent Representative of Azerbaijan to the United Nations Yashar Aliyev as he addressed the meeting of the UN Security Council in New York, U.S, reports.

“Azerbaijan expresses its profound regret over the exploitation by Armenia of the Council for the State-led campaign of manipulation, distortion and falsification. This august body was established as a guardian of the Charter of the United Nations and international law. The respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of States and non-interference in their domestic affairs are the cornerstones in this regard. Yet, it is utterly unacceptable that this body continues to be abused by certain forces to encroach on the sovereignty and territorial integrity of my country,” the Azerbaijani diplomat noted.

“It is undeniable that only geographical names established by legitimate and competent national authorities in relation to their sovereign territory must be recognized and used in the United Nations. Therefore, it is pertinent to remind that what Armenia and some Council members erroneously called "Nagorno-Karabakh" is the internationally recognized sovereign territory of Azerbaijan, which was under unlawful Armenian occupation for nearly thirty years. This was consistently reaffirmed in Security Council resolutions 822, 853, 874 and 884. The legal title of this area of Azerbaijan is now the Karabakh economic region or, in a short equivalent, the Karabakh region,” he mentioned.

“The Lachin road is situated entirely in Azerbaijan within its Lachin district. This district was invaded and occupied by the armed forces of Armenia in May 1992. The population of Lachin, over 77,000 residents, was forced to leave their homes and properties, and the town and its surrounding villages were looted and burned by the Armenian troops.

Following the 44-day war two years ago, in accordance with paragraph 6 of the Trilateral Statement of 10 November 2020, the Lachin district was returned to Azerbaijan, while Azerbaijan committed to guarantee the security of persons, vehicles and cargo moving along the Lachin road.

Neither the Government of Azerbaijan nor the protesting activists have blocked the Lachin road. The regime for the movement of citizens, goods and vehicles along the road remains unchanged, with the peacekeepers continuing to perform their duties to protect the route. Video clips shared on social media show unimpeded passage of the various types of vehicles, including ambulances and humanitarian convoys.

The claims regarding alleged humanitarian consequences of the situation are equally false. This is nothing other than another manifestation of reckless manipulation by Armenia of the situation for obvious malign political purposes. There is no impediment whatsoever as to the supply of goods for the use of local residents or in terms of delivery of essential medical services,” he emphasized.

“Thus, in violation of paragraph 4 of the 10 November 2020 Trilateral Statement, over more than two years, Armenia has been refusing to fully withdraw its armed forces and illegal armed formations from and continuing illegal military activities in the territory of Azerbaijan, where the Russian peacekeeping contingent is temporarily deployed.

While speculating on humanitarian importance of the Lachin road, Armenia, at the same time, has actively used it for military purposes, including for the rotation of personnel of the armed forces and the transfer of weapons to this territory, in clear violation of international law and paragraph 6 of the Trilateral Statement.

Apart from that, in violation of paragraph 1 of the Trilateral Statement, which committed the sides to terminate all hostilities, Armenia not only refuses to share the complete set of maps of hundreds of thousands of mines it indiscriminately laid on the territories of Azerbaijan during their occupation, but has planted new mines on the territory of my country in the post-conflict period. Thus, since August this year, more than 2700 mines produced in Armenia in 2021 have been detected in the sovereign territories of Azerbaijan. Evidently, these mines were transferred from Armenia via the Lachin road,” the diplomat said.

“Last Wednesday, seven people were injured and one killed by a mine explosion in the Kalbajar district of Azerbaijan. The area where the incident took place was far from the former line of contact and the mines were planted there during the withdrawal of the armed forces of Armenia from the Kalbajar district under the terms of paragraph 6 of the Trilateral Statement. In total, after the signing of the Trilateral Statement, 276 citizens of Azerbaijan have become mine victims. 46 of them were killed, including 35 civilians.

The conclusion is clear – Armenia tries to inflict as maximum human losses as possible in order to impede Azerbaijan's reconstruction projects and the return of hundreds of thousands of internally displaced persons to their homes. Furthermore, the Lachin road has also been misused for illicit trafficking of minerals and other resources from the territories of Azerbaijan, where the Russian peacekeeping contingent is deployed. This problem is not new. Azerbaijan has repeatedly brought to the attention of the international community irrefutable well-documented evidence attesting to large-scale unlawful economic activities in the formerly occupied territories of Azerbaijan, in flagrant violation of international law. As a matter of fact, out of the 151 mineral deposits identified in these territories prior to the occupation, 52 sites were exploited for the first time in the period between 1993 and 2020. Furthermore, several of the pre-conflict mining operations were expanded and intensified. Besides being an illegal act of exploitation of natural resources of a sovereign State, mining and quarrying operations were conducted with inadequate environmental oversight and supervision, including a lack of effluent treatment and site rehabilitation, in gross disregard for the environment-related technical standards,” he mentioned.

“Azerbaijan is committed to regional peace, stability and development. The establishment of good-neighborly relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan is a key for building secure, stable and prosperous South Caucasus through full-fledged regional normalization.

Azerbaijan’s position in this regard is clear, principled and consistent, and is based on international law and established international practice. It is Azerbaijan that right after the end of the conflict initiated the process of normalization of inter-State relations with Armenia based on mutual recognition and respect for each other’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within their internationally recognized borders, including through the signing of a peace treaty based on these principles,” Yashar Aliyev added.

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